GameStop Companions With Australian Blockchain Startup to Develop NFT Market

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GameStop Corp.

GME -0.81%

mentioned it might launch a market for nonfungible tokens later this yr in partnership with an Australian blockchain startup, moving into a stylish however unproven space of tech because the videogame retailer tries to show round its struggling enterprise.

Sydney-based Immutable Pty. Ltd. will assist develop {the marketplace} on its carbon-neutral platform, referred to as Immutable X, which makes use of the blockchain-based pc community Ethereum, GameStop mentioned Thursday.

GameStop additionally mentioned it intends to create a fund with Immutable of as much as $100 million to be distributed to builders for creating NFTs for its market that might be utilized in video games. The fund can be created utilizing Immutable’s cryptocurrency referred to as IMX, GameStop mentioned. Immutable has additionally agreed to pay GameStop as much as $150 million value of IMX if GameStop’s market achieves milestones for transactions and meets different parameters.

GameStop’s NFT initiative was reported final month by The Wall Avenue Journal. The Journal article mentioned the retailer had employed greater than 20 folks to run a brand new division centered on constructing partnerships round NFT- and cryptocurrency-related tasks.

Grapevine, Texas-based GameStop has been working to reset its enterprise after years of losses. The corporate overhauled its government staff and board of administrators in June after activist investor

Ryan Cohen

pushed for change. Mr. Cohen was named chairman and he has repeatedly pledged to make GameStop extra tech-centric.

Final yr particular person buyers helped enhance the retailer’s inventory worth as a part of a broader stock-trading frenzy.

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GameStop’s turnaround efforts to date haven’t led to massive enhancements in its monetary efficiency. For the quarter by way of October, the corporate mentioned revenues grew, however its loss widened in contrast with the identical interval a yr earlier.

Novice buyers took the inventory market by storm a yr in the past, shopping for up shares of meme shares like GameStop and AMC Leisure. Many bear in mind it as a revolution in opposition to Wall Avenue, however in the long run, they largely simply lined the pockets of main monetary corporations. WSJ’s Dion Rabouin explains. Illustration: Sebastian Vega

GameStop shares have fallen about 50% over the previous three months, however are nonetheless effectively above the place they had been buying and selling in 2020.

In growing an NFT market, GameStop is wading into much-hyped and unproven territory. A handful of NFT marketplaces exist already, together with some with tokens from recreation publishers. Final month, a market referred to as OpenSea mentioned it raised $300 million in enterprise capital, placing its valuation at $13.3 billion. GameStop’s present market capitalization is underneath $9 billion.

Immutable was based in late 2017 and has 152 staff, based on its co-founder and president, Robbie Ferguson. He mentioned Immutable has raised round $85 million in funding.

Write to Sarah E. Needleman at [email protected]

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